My awkward experience with DJ Nintendo
Heyo Smash Twitter, I'm Tsutori. I'm a woman who started actively competing in Smash around 2013 as part of the Penn State Smash Club (PSU Smash), which I was also the secretary for while I was a student there. I'm not really anyone notable in the community -- I'm just someone who likes to compete and hang out with friends at tournaments -- but I've seen the allegations coming out against DJ Nintendo and thought it would be helpful for me to provide my own experiences with him. At the time, I thought it was probably just a one-off, awkward interaction, but since other women are coming out with their own stories about him, I realize now he has a pattern of creepy behavior towards women. Thus, I am sharing this information to support the claims of others who are coming forward.
I will preface this by saying that my own experience with him was not nearly as bad as the other stories that are going around. It felt awkward and weird when it happened, but I don't have any lingering anxiety or trauma from it. If anything, it actually became a bit of an inside joke between my friends and I. So, I would much rather see support and help go to the individuals who were more strongly affected. I am fine and I will be fine.
I also want to say upfront that in no way do I feel like PSU Smash failed me and I don't want people thinking it's a terrible place just because this happened to occur after one of their events. I love my Smash Club so much and they have always been supportive of me. They are awesome people and are a cherished, unforgettable part of my life. I'm grateful that they were my first competitive Smash experience, and if I could, I would absolutely go back to college just to hang out with them again. If any of you from PSU Smash are reading this, don't beat yourselves up over what happened to me!
My story starts on September 12, 2015, when PSU Smash held Smash Valley II. At the time, I was 19 years old. DJ Nintendo was at that tournament, and I was also there competing in Smash 4. I didn't interact with DJ Nintendo at all since I was busy playing friendlies and tournament matches. At one point I passed by him and we looked at each other, but that was it.
After the tournament ended, I received a friend request from DJ Nintendo on Facebook. I was very confused as to why he wanted to friend me, as I hadn't interacted with him. I also had no idea how he found my Facebook, but I assumed he probably saw me on the PSU Smash page and quickly identified me since I was one of only two girls in the club at the time. I accepted the request but didn't really know what to think of it. So I waited to see if something would happen and continued not to interact beyond accepting the request. In the meantime, I asked our TO why DJ Nintendo wanted to friend me, and our TO said DJ Nintendo probably thought I was cute.
Nothing would happen until a month later, on October 7, shortly after Big House 5 ended. I suddenly got a message from DJ Nintendo out of the blue saying "hi :)". This again struck me as strange, since again, we had NO interaction at Smash Valley II and NO interaction for an entire month even after I accepted his friend request. Despite my misgivings, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and figured that maybe he just wanted to be friendly and chat, so I responded back with, "Hello! What's up?"
The exchange from there went as follows. You can also see screenshots of the conversation here: https://imgur.com/a/m5ditZy
DJ Nintendo: Chillin' at home. Catching up on things since coming back from Big House.
Me: I didn't really get to watch much of Big House Melee, haha. How'd that go?
DJ Nintendo: Big House was so ridiculous! Everything about it was so hype! Top 32 was all best of five too. I was turning up every night. Drinks on deck! LOL
Here, I stopped and thought it was super weird that he was just randomly telling me about himself "turning up every night". I'm personally not a party-goer or drinker at all and had no idea why this was something he felt was relevant to mention.
Me: Wii U was pretty hype too haha. No turning up over here though P=
DJ Nintendo: It definitely was. I wanted Nairo to win so bad lol. If you were at Big House, I would've invited you to turn up with me!
Again, at this time, I was 19 years old, legally an adult but not of legal drinking age. DJ Nintendo, as I later found out, was 30 then, 11 years my senior. I had no idea if DJ Nintendo knew my age, but my birthday is visible to friends on my Facebook page, so this was something he could have known. Needless to say I was not interested in illegally "turning up" with a man I barely knew, who was much older than me. I ignored this comment and tried to steer the conversation towards Smash instead.
Me: I was really rooting for Nairo and Anti. Anti might have done it if he didn't go WFT that first match.
DJ Nintendo: Both of them are the homies. I didn't get to watch the sets because I was busy doing other stuff. Why didn't you come to Big House?
Me: Too far and too busy haha
DJ Nintendo: Its not that far lol. I got a $106 round trip ticket from NY. It was nonstop too. School had you too busy?
Me: Yup, lots of papers
DJ Nintendo: That sucks. When I went to Penn State for the tourney, I saw you playing Smash 4. I should've introduced myself lol. Did you enter? If so, how did you do?
So he acknowledged that he saw me at Smash Valley II but didn't say anything, which just added to the sense of awkwardness around this whole conversation. I was also baffled by him asking why I wasn't at Big House, considering that Penn State is a significant distance away from Michigan. Plus, I was a student who had school obligations outside of Smash.
After that point, though, I had more or less moved the conversation on to Smash, and there wasn't really anything else too weird said, aside from one part where DJ Nintendo said he was "one of the top Smash senseis of the community" and offered to help me "become godlike in Melee". We only exchanged a few messages talking about Marth in Melee up through the next day, after which I just stopped replying. The whole experience was bizarre and I didn't really want to continue conversing, especially since my TO suggested that DJ Nintendo thought I was attractive, and I disliked that sense of an ulterior motive in this conversation from a 30 year old man. Some time later I de-friended him, but I cannot recall exactly when. I haven't had any further interactions with DJ Nintendo since.
Again, my situation is mild compared to other stories flying around. But I do think it's important for me to mention because I am apparently not the only woman he has approached and been awkward/creepy with. I may not have been hurt, but I cannot help but wonder...if I had continued talking him, would he have started being more creepy towards me? Would my situation have reached the same level as that of @Aliylian, with him asking me to send photos or implying we could have sex?
I will thankfully never know the answers to those questions, but I am saddened to hear that other women have had much worse experiences with him, and as minors to boot. I am of the firm belief that gaming should be a safe place for everyone, regardless of who they are. I hope that the Smash community will rise out of the ashes of all that is happening and come out a safer, better place than before. There are a lot of passionate, good people in this community, and I have faith that we can rebuild for the better.